The 10 Best Summer Picnic Salad Recipes Ever

Salads for Kids
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Let’s go on a picnic. Summer is the best time of the year to go on a picnic. The weather is perfect, the landscape is blooming and it feels like a mini vacation to be outside. I love packing up a picnic basket and heading outdoors to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery. This special get-away doesn’t cost much and is an enjoyable way to spend some time with family and friends. To get you inspired, below I am sharing my favorite best summer picnic salad recipes ever.

Best Summer Picnic Salad Recipes Ever

Salads are a refreshing and easy dish to take on a picnic. They can be made ahead of time – ready to eat, they stay fresh in a cooler and offer a nutritious lunch packed with energy. A salad can be the main course or a side dish to your favorite picnic meal.

Fresh ingredients can be found in your backyard garden or at the local farmer’s market. There is no other season that offers such fresh quantities and quality than summer.

Fresh Garden Tomatoes for Summer Salads


Picnic Essentials Checklist

  • Table Cloth – Use a traditional red and white checked cloth or simply a blanket, or beach towel. A tablecloth will make the table or ground look festive and offer a clean place to sit and eat.
  • Picnic Basket or Large Container
  • Plates, Cups, Silverware, Paper Towels (Use as Napkins)
  • Condiments if Needed
  • Water for Drinking and Washing Up
  • Cooler
  • Salad – Main Course or Side Dish
  • Fresh Bread
  • Favorite Main Course if Salad is a Side Dish (Chicken, Hamburgers, Brats, Sandwiches, etc.)
  • Fruit for Desert
  • Wine or Favorite Beverage

Just pack up and go – enjoy the season.

Pack Up and Go on A Summer Picnic


1. Summer Fresh Garden Salad

This is one of my favorite summer salads. Start with a layer of greens and add some fresh produce from the garden. Nothing tastes better than a freshly picked tomato or green pepper.  Yum!!!

Sprinkle on a light layer of dressing or just eat as is. Add some protein to your salad with a few of your favorite nuts, eggs or cheese.

Summer Fresh Garden Salad

Mix and Match Ingredient List

  • Bed of Greens – Spinach, Lettuce, Spring Mix, etc.
  • Fresh Garden Tomatoes Wedges
  • Fresh Green, Red or Yellow Pepper
  • Shredded Red Cabbage
  • Fresh Sliced Cucumber
  • Fresh Carrot Strips
  • Sliced Radish
  • Olives
  • Nuts
  • Hard Boiled Egg Wedges

2. Fresh Melon and Berries

Choosing a salad that combines fresh melon and berries offers plenty of water to keep you from becoming dehydrated in the summer heat. The sweet tasty watermelon is perfect for eating outdoors. Prep the melon beforehand into cubes so it is easy to eat with a toothpick or fork. This type of salad can be served as a cold plate or mixed in a bowl.

Watermelon and Berries Salad

Ingredients – Mix and Match

Use any of the ingredients below or add your favorites to create a delicious Fresh Melon and Berries Salad. Mix it all together or serve as a cold plate.

  • Baby Spinach or other Fresh Greens
  • Fresh Melon – Water, Cantaloupe or Honeydew
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Fresh Pineapple
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Fresh Raspberries
  • Cheese Cubes
  • Favorite Nuts – Walnuts, Pecans, Peanuts, Cashews
  • Other Berries & Melons

3. Left Over Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Combine last nights leftover main course into today’s salad. Top a bed of greens and vegetables with leftover chicken, ground beef, shredded beef, steak or pork. The tasty bits of meat add flavor to a salad, and it is a fast and easy recipe for serving last nights leftovers. This is also a tasty salad to take to work for a delicious lunch.

Left Over Rotisserie Chicken Salad Ingredients

Mix and Match Ingredients

  • Bed of Greens
  • Tomato Wedges
  • Sliced Cucumber
  • Chopped Green Onion
  • Sliced Radishes
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Shredded Red Cabbage
  • Boiled Egg Slices

4.Salads for a Large Crowd

A fun way to make a salad for a large crowd is to create a mini salad bar. This is not only an easy way to prepare for a big event, it also allows your guests to choose what they want in their salads.

Prepare the ingredients ahead of time and place in individual containers.

Salads for a Large Crowd

Mix and Match Ingredients

Pick and choose a variety of colorful ingredients that would go well on a salad. Avoid ingredients that most people would avoid. Keep it simple or make it as elaborate as you want. Everyone loves a salad that contains their favorite foods.


5. Just for Kids – Build a Salad

This a favorite among the younger crowd. Set out a table full of ingredients and let the children design their own salads. They will have a lot of fun making it and even more fun eating it.

Check out this story that I wrote for children to think about while creating a Halloween Salad. Children love to cook and create in the Kitchen. Making a salad is a safe and inspiring way for young chefs to learn the magic of making their own food.

Salads for Kids


6.Unusual Salads

These are super fun to make because you can use your imagination and combine it with the ingredients that you have on hand to make something unique.

The salad below is sprinkled with Chia Seeds to give it a unique taste and look. What other things could you use as a topping on your salad?

Unusual Salads


7. Spinach and Fruit Salad

Start with a layer of spinach placed evenly on a plate, add your favorite fruits and a scoop of cottage cheese. No need to add dressing to this type of salad.

Best Fruit Salads Ever


8. The Best Fresh Vegetable Salad

Are you looking for a  vegetable salad for someone who is vegetarian or on a special diet? There are so many vegetables on the market today that it should be easy to create a salad for that special person.

The best place to start is by asking the person you are cooking for what they can and cannot eat. Then create a delicious salad that is sure to please.

  1. Find out which ingredients they can eat.
  2. Discuss if it needs to be organic. (Best)
  3. Are there toppings/dressings that they can eat?
  4. Better to plan ahead than to have an unhappy guest.

Foodie Glen Best Salad Recipes Ever


9. The Best Quick and Easy Picnic Salad

A quick and easy salad is one that the ingredients are in your fridge and you have a few minutes to wash, cut and dice.

If you know you will be short on time during the week then use the weekends to do your grocery shopping and prep as many of the ingredients as you can. Some ingredients need to be washed and prepped just before eating.

Green Pepper Salad Recipe


10. The 10 Best Summer Picnic Salad Recipes Ever Video

What is your favorite salad to take on a picnic?

Please share your favorite recipes below.

Spooky Halloween Salad Recipes

Best Halloween Salad
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[Total: 5   Average: 4.2/5]

 

Serve this salad for Halloween lunch before the kids go Trick or Treating. Ask your children to help you make this salad and share this fun Halloween story with them. Use your imagination to enhance the story.

This Spooky Halloween Salad Recipe is made by adding a scoop of cottage cheese on top of a bed of greens, mixed with a few raw vegetables. This nutritious lunch will give your little trick or treaters the energy they need to participate in the holiday festivities.

Here is a little story that you can tell while making your salad.  

Step1

Start with a Layer of Greens

First Layer a Plate of SpinachOnce upon a time there was a Kingdom of lush green leaves that covered the land. They were magical salad greens. When the children ate the greens they were transformed into unusual characters. Some became Superheroes such as Spider Man, Super Man, Bat Man and Wonder Woman. Others became a Princess, Elsa or the Lil Mermaid. A few became Ghosts and Scary Witches.

The children had fun becoming someone else for the day.

Step 2

Add a Scoop of Cottage Cheese

Scary figures began to appear in the neighborhood. There were ghosts, goblins, Jack-o-Lanterns and Witches hanging out in people’s yards. Everywhere you looked you saw evidence that something special was about to happen.

At first the ghosts didn’t have any eyes or mouths and they were bumping into everything scaring the little children.

Step 3

Make a Ghost Face

Add some carrot chips to your ghost so that they can see. Now add a big smile to make them friendly. Just for fun add an olive for the nose.

Ghosts are not scary when they are wearing a big smile.

Halloween Salads

 

Step 4

Sprinkle a Layer of Fall Colors


Spooky Halloween Recipe IngredientsAs you look outside, you will see that the leaves on the trees have changed their colors. The green leaves are turning red, yellow and bright orange.

Sprinkle some color on your salad. Add some red & yellow pepper with bits of red cabbage. Red peppers add a sweet flavor to the salad.

Step 5

Sprinkle on Some Snow

Parmesan Cheese Salad IngredientWinter is about to arrive. Outside the squirrels are busy finding acorns on the ground. Watch them closely as they bury these nuts in the fallen leaves. Squirrel away a few nuts in your salad.

Soon the snow will be falling and covering the ground. Add some snowflakes to your salad.  Cheese graters are sharp so be careful and safe.

Step 6 

Enjoy Your Salad before Your Treats

Now that you have your lunch ready to eat, enjoy the colors and the flavors. Eating this salad will give you plenty of energy to visit the neighbors. As you go Trick or Treating notice the magical world around you. Do you see the ghosts and goblins? Have the leaves on the trees turned colors? And most of all, can you find any squirrels hiding their nuts before winter comes?

 Don’t forget to share your Halloween Treats with those you love.


Happy Halloween Salad IngredientsIngredients for Halloween Salad

  • Romaine Lettuce or Other Greens
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Red Cabbage
  • Red & Yellow Pepper
  • Kohlrabi
  • Radish
  • Tomato
  • Egg
  • Cucumber
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • Optional Nuts
  • Optional Olives
  • Favorite Dressing

This salad is low in calories and high in nutrients.The perfect treat for little ones.

 

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Leftover Rotisserie Chicken Salad
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[Total: 3   Average: 5/5]

One of our favorite quick and easy suppers is a ready-to-eat rotisserie chicken from our local Piggly Wiggly grocery store.  We serve it with a few fresh vegetables for a delicious fun meal. Often this leaves us with some leftover chicken and we have found that creating this awesome salad the next day is a real treat. Use last night’s leftover rotisserie chicken for the main topping on this salad.

Quick and Easy Directions

  • Wash all of the fresh produce ingredients before prepping them.
  • Slice, dice and cut your veggies into bite size pieces.
  • Mix the red cabbage, spinach, leaf lettuce and kale in a large bowl.
  • Place a layer of the mixed greens on the bottom of your salad plate.
  • Next, add a layer of cauliflower. Notice how the white of the cauliflower contrasts against the green.
  • Layer and arrange your other ingredients.
  • Note: Substitute any of these ingredients for what you have in available.
  • The Chicken can also be substituted for leftover Thanksgiving Turkey.

Left Over Rotisserie Chicken Salad IngredientsIngredients

  • Fresh Baby Spinach
  • Fresh leaf lettuce
  • Fresh Kale
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cauliflower Flowerets
  • Fresh Cucumber
  • Fresh Green Onions
  • Tomato
  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • Leftover Rotisserie Chicken
  • Add your favorite nuts and seeds to taste.

Homemade Oil and Vinegar Dressing

 

Homemade Oil and Vinegar Dressing

Ingredients:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Freshly Ground Black Peppercorn
  • Raw Wild Natural Honey

Directions:

We use a recycled plastic honey bottle to mix our Vinegar and Oil dressing. It makes a perfect container to pour the dressing evenly on the salad. If you don’t have a special bottle for your dressing you can mix it in a bowl and spoon it over your salad.

Try it Your Own Way

Leftover Chicken Green Salad



Green Pepper Salad Recipe

Green Pepper Salad Recipe
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[Total: 1   Average: 5/5]

This Green Pepper Salad Recipe is perfect for serving during the summer months.  Mix it with other fresh produce from your garden such as tomatoes, cucumbers and spinach for a delicious treat. The peppers are tasty and crunch. To make this salad more colorful use a variety of color peppers. This is one of my favorite salads packed with nutrition. Makes a great salad to take to work for your lunch.

Recipe:

  1. Start with a layer of baby spinach.
  2. Add a layer of sliced cucumbers and radishes evenly spaced in a circle pattern.
  3. Next, add a layer of green pepper.
  4. Place slices of a hard-boiled egg around the salad.
  5. Add red tomato slices.
  6. Next sprinkle on some diced red cabbage, pecans and black olives.

Green Pepper Salad IngredientsIngredients

  • Fresh Green Peppers
  • Fresh Baby Spinach
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Black Olives
  • Carrot Slices
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cucumber Slices
  • Sliced Radishes
  • Pecans
  • Hard Boiled Egg

Fresh peppers mixed with these ingredients are tasty enough that you don’t even need to add a dressing.


About Peppers

A Green Pepper is also referred to as a Bell Pepper or Jon’s head. A green pepper turns colors as it ripens. You can find them in a yellow, orange and red color. As the color changes so does the sweetness of the pepper. Green peppers are less sweeter than yellow and so on. It is also interesting to note that the red peppers have more vitamins and nutrients than the green peppers.


How to Slice a Pepper

Select a firm pepper with a shiny skin without blemishes or wrinkles. Wash the pepper thoroughly before slicing.

There are several different ways that you can use to slice a pepper. Choose the best method that works for you.

Method 1

  • Take a sharp knife and cut off the top and bottom of the pepper.
  • Save the ends and use them for diced peppers.
  • Slice one side of the pepper, then open the pepper and carefully use your knife to remove the seeds and core.
  • Cut the pepper in half and lay flat on a cutting board, then slice the pepper in either long strips (Julienne) or wedge shapes.

Method 2

  • With a sharp knife cut off the top of the pepper.
  • Slice the pepper skin from the top to the bottom to remove the core. (See Video)
  • Cut the pepper into your favorite shape.

Video: How to Slice a Pepper

Peppers should be stored dry, unwashed in the refrigerator.

Best Summer Salads Ever

Green Salad Recipes
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One of the joys of summer is being able to pick produce from our gardens and serve a bountiful meal to our family. This salad has fresh tomato, fresh strawberry on a layer spinach. The colorful reds, greens, orange, purple and white show natures true beauty. The cottage cheese makes a great dressing and adds a little protein, along with the egg and nuts. Vitamins and minerals make a powerful meal.

Ingredients

best_summer-Salads_ever_strawberries1
Ingredients for Summer Salads
  • Fresh Tomato
  • Fresh Strawberry
  • Fresh Radish
  • Fresh Spinach
  • Fresh Green Onion
  • Fresh Carrots
  • Fresh Red Cabbage
  • Pecans
  • Cashews
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Lowfat Cottage Cheese
  • Hard Boiled Egg

Tips for Storing Strawberries

  • Do not wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat them.
  • If storing for more than a day the refrigerator is the best place to store your strawberries.
  • Store on a flat plate or shallow bowl on a layer of paper towels and cover.
  • If you will not be using the strawberries within a few days then you should freeze them.

Watermelon Summer Salad

Watermelon and Berries Salad
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Watermelon Summer Salad is the perfect meal to have after a long hot summer day of work. The fresh sweet flavor of the watermelon mixed with other fruits is really delicious. Add some cheese and nuts for your protein and you have an awesome meal.

This fruit salad is a perfect blend of fresh and frozen fruit. The watermelon, raspberries and apple are all fresh. The cherries, blueberries, black berries and mangos are frozen. You can use fresh or frozen fruit- use what you have available. The watermelon can be cut ahead of time making this a quick and easy meal to prepare after work. Arranging on a platter takes a few minutes. This salad is both nutritious and delicious.

Keeping a variety of frozen fruits stocked in your freezer helps to pull together a simple salad during the summer months. All of these ingredients can be prepped ahead of time and the salad prepared just before eating.

No need to stop at a fast food restaurants when you plan ahead a little for these quick and easy salads during the week. Relax outside on your patio and enjoy this delicious meal while enjoying the sounds and sights of summer. Cleanup is simple with just a few plates and utensils to wash. This gives you enough time to take an evening walk to enjoy the fresh air.


Watermelon Summer Salad Ingredients

Watermelon Summer Salad

  • Fresh Watermelon
  • Fresh Raspberries
  • Fresh Apple Chunks
  • Fresh or Blueberries
  • Fresh or Frozen Black Berries
  • Fresh or Frozen Mangoes 
  • Fresh or Frozen Cherries
  • Wisconsin Marble Cheese
  • Pecans
  • Cashews

Substitute any of the above ingredients to create your own awesome Watermelon Summer Salad.

How to Select a Watermelon

How To Select a Watermelon

First pick up and check several watermelons. Look for a firm melon without any bruises. Pick out several that are the same size and choose the heaviest one. The heavier they are the more water they have in the inside. Select a melon that has dark green stripes and light green stripes. The green stripes should be broken as shown in the photo.

One side of the melon should have a large yellow spot, this is were the watermelon rested on the ground. If it is cream color the melon will be green, if the color is dark yellow it is over ripe. The longer the melon sat on the vine the darker the spot got. If there is no spot then choose a different melon.

Use a sharp carving knife to cut your watermelon. First cut off the ends and then cut off the rest of the skin. You can use the skin to make Pickled Watermelon Rind.

Video: How to Pick a Good Watermelon and How to Cut it Up